San Francisco police have arrested two suspects in a dog fighting ring in the city, says Police Inspector Dan Silver with the Gang Task Force.
San Francisco residents Ed Perkins, 23, and Jermaine Jackson, 24, were arrested following a police investigation of multiple dog-fighting videos that were obtained following an unrelated dog fighting arrest last month, according to Sgt. Danielle Newman.
Evidence was inadvertently discovered on a cell phone when an arrest was made of one suspect on an unrelated charge. In scoping the contents of the phone, investigators found a video of two pit bulls fighting while their owners and a group of spectators urged them to fight harder and “kill.”
It appears the dog fighting match occurred in March at the Hunters View housing development, said Newman.
“The dogs are kinda slapped and punched and yelled at and set back at each other,” he said. “They fought pretty viciously for about five minutes until the video cuts off.”
Ed Perkins was arrested on suspicion of owning, possessing or training a dog with intent to fight with another dog, causing a fight between dogs for amusement or gain, animal cruelty, participating in a street gang and conspiracy, according to police.
Police say Perkins owns one of the dogs. Jermaine Jackson, 25, was cited for allegedly being a bystander at the dog fight. Being a spectator at a dog fight is also a crime.
Police believe Acie Lee Mathews Jr. is the owner of the other pit bull. He still remains a large, according to the report.
When police searched Jackson’s home, they found a pit bull mom and her three puppies, as well as a bulletproof vest and ammunition.
Silver also reportedly recognized 19-year-old Jaquan Rice from the video. He was shot to death three months after the dog fight at a bus stop in the Bayview district.
Ironically, Rice was himself the victim of an almost fatal mauling by two pit bulls when he was only 11 years old.
The video shows the faces of the dog owners and those in attendance at the bloody spectacle, in which police believe one of the dogs was actually killed or sustained fatal wounds, reports KGO News.
Police also found other videos of pit bulls on Perkins’ cell phone. One showed two of them apparently being trained to bite by attacking hanging tires.
The two men arrested are documented members of the Westmob gang, police say.
“Westmob does robberies, murders,” Silver told KGO. “There’ve been rapes, burglaries, drug dealing.”
Even in trendy San Francisco, Silver said pit bull street fighting occurs more frequently than residents know. “It’s not at all uncommon practice,” he said. “It is a vastly underreported. Street gangs use dog fighting as a means of controlling their turf.”
Police believe one of the dogs may have died, but they would like the public’s help with any information about the fight or the outcome for the dogs. Also, if anyone recognizes any of the other people in the video, they would like to know who they are.
Investigators are also still looking for four bystanders in the video. Newman describes the bystanders as:
- A black woman between 20 and 28 years old who was wearing a red shirt, gray sweatpants, and white tennis shoes.
- A heavyset black male wearing jeans and a black long-sleeved T-shirt with graphics on the front.
- A male of Pacific Islander descent wearing a blue jacket, white T-shirt and blue jeans.
- Another male of Pacific Islander descent wearing a camouflage jacket with dark pants.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Police Department's tip line at (415) 575-4444.
Up to a $5,000 reward is offered by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person involved in illegal animal fighting. Call 877-TIP-HSUS (877-847-4787). Callers’ identities are protected.